It seemed like a good idea at the time, taking one of my articulated trucks and trailers to my young daughters infants school with the intention of promoting awareness of the transport industry as early in their young lives as possible. Some of my suppliers had kindly supplied colouring books, pens and promotional pieces for them all and I brought a tin of garden peas!
My idea was to ask them how many trucks it took to get a can of peas to a shop. The question brought a wild and broad numbered response from the children to the point that the attending teachers had to regain control of the situation. Lesson learned on my part!
I then explained that if a tractor and trailer brought it to the processing plant, the following trucks would be needed to get a can of peas onto a supermarket or corner shop shelf:
For the Can:
1) Raw materials to make steel coil to make can.
2) Movement of coil to can factory.
3)At least another truck for materials used in can manufacture.
4) Empty pallets delivered to stack empty cans on.
5) Reels of plastic banding (non-biodegradable) delivered to secure cans to pallets.
6) Squares of wood delivered to put over the top of the pallets before banding.
7) Cans delivered to pea canning plant.
8) Can lids deliver to the canning plant.
For the pea can labels:
9) Wood to paper making plant.
10) Paper reels to the label making plant.
11) At least one truck delivering ink chemicals to the label making plant.
12) Labels delivered to the canning plant.
For the pea canning plant:
13) At least one truck delivering chemicals used in the canning process.
14) Empty pallets delivered for the finished product at the canning plant.
15) Finished cans of peas delivered on pallets to the RDC.
For the Regional Distribution Centre (RDC):
16) Delivery by at least one truck to the shop.
The tins are recyclable as are the pallets and some labels. But plus or minus sixteen trucks for the production of a tin of peas was not perceived as a big concern in 1993!
Move to 2019 and trucks are seen by the climate change protesters as the worst killers of the climate, when in reality Euro6 emission level trucks are cleaner than most cars per ton/km.
Another reason why trucks are required is that we love the supermarket and over the years, apart from the odd corner shop they have killed the high street butchers, fresh produce suppliers, bakers and to a large extent door to door milk deliveries. In fact most of the shops you bought things at in a high street shop in the 60’s and 70’s have been replaced by the supermarket. If truth be told, many more trucks would be required if this hadn’t happened. One truck can carry the equivalent of thirteen van payloads and the equivalent of even more van payloads if it’s a bulky load volume wise.
If I could walk into a persons house who thinks trucks should be banned, what would I find in their cupboards? Even worse what would I find in their freezers or fridges especially if they are of the older CFC type. Most frozen food packaging is not biodegradable. Very little if anything in your house and probably including your house wasn’t delivered by a truck.
How many walk to the supermarket instead of using a car? Whenever I go to a supermarket the car park is full, in fact I generally walk to the supermarket unless I happen to be passing on my way home from work.
Then there are the people who think truck road tax should be put up. Well, go ahead and watch food and other product prices rise as the margins a very slim in road transport. It’s nothing more than a stealth tax on the public because very little of the proceeds are spent on improving our roads. It matters not a jot which political party you vote for. Some are so misguided they want to ban trucks altogether. I’m not sure how they plan to clothe and feed the nation.
So all I ask is that next time the sight of a truck annoys you, look in your shopping bag, your house and even your car, and ask yourself how all these things got to the shop where you bought them or even how they got to your door. The chances are that most if not everything will have been in or on at least one truck before it got to you.